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JL Audio Marine Amplifier Recommendations


What JL Amplifier Do We Recommend?

One of the most popular questions we get from customers and we see when reading the forums and facebook groups out there is, "What amplifier do you recommend for X JL M3 or M6 Speakers?" We have put together a list to help you determine which amplifier you should run for the different scenarios. In addition, we will tell you when to bridge and when to make sure that you have the gain turned down.

JL Audio M Series

To make this as simple as possible, we recommend the JL Audio M series amplifiers. Yes, the MHD amplifiers have their purpose and so do the MVi amplifiers, but when in doubt, go with the JL Audio M series.


Recommended Amplifiers
JL Audio M3

We recommend the JL Audio M-Series amplifiers to power the 6.5" M3 speakers. If you want to save some money or if you are tight on space, you can go with the MX series amplifiers. But, if it's our shop boat and we are putting M3 speakers in it, we are powering it with the JL Audio M-series amplifiers

6.5" M3 Speakers - No Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M200/2.
4 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4
6 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M600/6
8 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
You could also run an M800/8 by itself and run 4 speakers in parallel to a 2 ohm load.
7.7" M3 Speakers - No Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M200/2
If you will never expand your system, go with the M200/2. If you might add more speakers later on, get the bigger amp now.
4 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4
6 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M600/6
8 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
6.5" M3 Speakers + M3 Subwoofers:
2 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M500/3
4 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5
6 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
  • 6 Speakers off Channels 1-6.
  • Bridge channels 7 & 8 for the subwoofer
8 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
  • 4 Speakers off of Channels 1-4
  • 4 Speakers in Parallel off Channels 5 & 6
  • Bridge Channels 7 & 8 for the subwoofer.
2 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M500/3
Wire the Subwoofers in Parallel
4 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5
Wire the Subwoofers in Parallel
6 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4+ M500/3
Otherwise an M800/8 as follows:
  • 2 Speakers on Channels 1 & 2
  • 4 Speakers on Channels 2 & 4
  • Bridge Channels 5 & 6 for Subwoofer 1
  • Bridge Channels 7 & 8 for Subwoofer 2
8 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5+ M400/4
You could also do an M800/8
  • 4 Speakers off Channels 1 & 2
  • 4 Speakers off Channels 2 & 4
  • Bridge Channels 5 & 6 for Subwoofer 1
  • Bridge Channels 7 & 8 for Subwoofer 2.
7.7" M3 Speakers + M3 Subwoofers:
2 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M500/3
4 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5
6 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
  • 6 Speakers off Channels 1-6
  • Bridge channels 7 & 8 for the subwoofer
8 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5+ M400/4
2 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M500/3
Wire the Subwoofers in Parallel
4 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5
Wire the Subwoofers in Parallel
6 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4+ M500/3
Otherwise an M800/8 as follows:
  • 2 Speakers on Channels 1 & 2
  • 4 Speakers on Channels 2 & 4
  • Bridge Channels 5 & 6 for Subwoofer 1
  • Bridge Channels 7 & 8 for Subwoofer 2
8 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M700/5 + M400/4
You could also do an M800/8
  • 4 Speakers off Channels 1 & 2
  • 4 Speakers off Channels 2 & 4
  • Bridge Channels 5 & 6 for Subwoofer 1
  • Bridge Channels 7 & 8 for Subwoofer 2
10" M3 Subwoofers:
1 10" M3 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
MX300/1
3 or 5 Channel Amplifiers work best here. If it's just a monoblock for the subwoofer, the MX300/1 is the ticket. The M600/1 is pricey and you would end up having the gain turned down really low.
2 10" M3 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M600/1
3 10" M3 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
N/A
3 Subwoofers doesn't make sense. If you are going with 3, you might as well add a 4th due to the amplifier impedance and costs involved
4 10" M3 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M600/1 + M600/1
If you are buying 4 M3 subwoofers, you are better off buying 2 M6 Subwoofers. 4 Subwoofers + 2 M600/1 Amplifiers is expensive for what you get. You are better off with M6 or M7.
JL Audio M6

The JL Audio M6 speakers are the best sounding marine speakers in the world. You want to make sure that you are powering them properly. For the 6.5" speakers, you want to make sure that you have 1 channel per speaker. So if you have 8 speakers, you want an 8 channel amplifier. For the 7.7" and 8.8" speakers, we recommend bridging the amplifier and turning the gain down. This will ensure that you are giving your speakers all of the power they want so that they play loud, they play clear, and you get the sound quality and music experience that you are paying for when you purchase JL Audio M6 speakers.

6.5" M6 Speakers - No Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M200/2
If you will never expand your system, go with the M200/2. If you might add more speakers later on, get the bigger amp now.
4 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4
6 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M600/6
8 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
7.7" M6 Speakers - No Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4
If you will never expand your system, go with the M400/4. If you might add more speakers later on, get the bigger amp now.
4 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
6 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8+ M400/4
8 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8
8.8" M6 Speakers - No Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M400/4
If you will never expand your system, go with the M400/4. If you might add more speakers later on, get the bigger amp now.
4 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8
6 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8+ M400/4
8 Speakers Only
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8
6.5" M6 Speakers + Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M500/3
4 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
6 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5+ M200/2
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
8 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8+ M600/
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
2 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
4 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
6 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8+ M600/1
(2 Extra Channels, but only $40 More)
8 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8+ M600/1
7.7" M6 Speakers + Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
4 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M600/1
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
6 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M1000/5
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
8 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8 + M600/1
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
2 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
4 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M600/1
6 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M1000/5
8 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8 + M600/1
8.8" M6 Speakers + Subwoofer(s):
2 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
4 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M600/1
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
6 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M1000/5
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
8 Speakers + 1 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8 + M600/1
(Subwoofer Gain Turned Down)
2 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/5
4 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M600/1
6 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M1000/5
8 Speakers + 2 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M800/8 + M800/8 + M600/1
10" M6 Subwoofers:
1 10" M6 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M600/1
(Gain Turned Down)
2 10" M6 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M600/1
(Gain Not Maxed Out)
3 10" M6 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
N/A
3 Subwoofers doesn't make sense. If you are going with 3, you might as well add a 4th due to the amplifier impedance.
4 10" M6 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M600/1 + M600/1
(Gain Not Maxed Out)
JL Audio M7
12" M7 Subwoofers:
1 12" M7 Subwoofer
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/1
2 12" M7 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/1
3 12" M7 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
N/A
3 Subwoofers doesn't make sense. If you are going with 3, you might as well add a 4th due to the amplifier impedance
4 12" M7 Subwoofers
Recommended Amplifier
M1000/1 + M1000/1
What About MHD?

The JL Audio MHD amplifiers are badass. But, they are also significantly more expensive. The M-series amplifiers are probably the most popular marine amps available and there's a reason for that. They sound incredible and you can rail on them all day long and they don't overheat or cut out. They also last.

What About MVi?

The JL Audio MVi amplifiers are incredible and are essentially updated versions of the M series amplifiers with a DSP built in. The big advantage of the MVi amplifiers is the ability to custom tune each speaker independently and get the correct time alignment. The other big advantage is the ability to switch pre-sets for the DSP settings. When you add the LED preset button, you can switch between modes. This is ideal if you may be towing, swimming, at the sand bar, at the dock, inside, outside, etc. Instead of messing with a bunch of different zones on your head unit, instead you just press the button until you get to the correct preset.

Amp Wiring Kits

We like the Stinger SEA4247 and SEA4243. The JL Audio wiring kits use 6 AWG wire and we prefer to run 4 AWG wire for all of the JL Audio M-series amplifiers. The Stinger kits use "Siamese" power wire where the red and yellow wires and molded together like speaker wire. The Stinger kits come in 7 meter (SEA4247) and 3 meter (SEA4243) lengths.


RCA Cables

Keep your install looking clean with JL Audio marine RCA cables. We carry a full line of marine grade interconnects to deliver the signal from your head unit to your amplifier. It is important to pay attention to the zones on the radio. You may have to use Y connectors if installing multiple amplifiers with a 1 or 2 zone head unit. At the same time, if you have an 8 channel amplifier with a 2 zone head unit, you don't need to run 4 sets of RCAs to the 8 channel amplifier. You can take advantage of the onboard input switches and only run 2 or 4 channels of RCAs.


Circuit Breakers

We recommend adding a JL Audio marine circuit breaker in line near your batteries. You don't want fuses when out on the water because they can be difficult to replace if something trips. With a circuit breaker, simply flip the switch and you are back and ready to rock. JL has the largest selection of marine circuit breakers to protect your amplifier ranging from 30 amps up to 80 amps.


MHD-RLC Bass Knob

Adding a bass knob to your M-series amplifier allows you to quickly and easily adjust the bass level without having to mess with the radio. Instead of pressing buttons and then adjusting the subwoofer, you just turn the knob up or down, depending on the song. You can also use the MHD-RLC to quickly and easily turn down a zone, without needing to use the zone controller on the head unit. If you have an M800/8 and it is powering both cockpit and tower speakers, you can use the MHD-RLC to control the level of the tower speakers. It's a no brainer and once you have the remote level control, you will never go back.